The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.


Motivated Employees?

by Admin 9. November 2011 20:23


I often get questions about motivating employees. My overall belief is, “you can’t motivate anyone to do anything, just give them an opportunity to motive themselves”. That being said what do you do to give them an opportunity to motivate themselves?

As a business owner, you don't want employees who are only motivated to perform well so they can win a ‘prize”. You want employees who are motivated to perform well every day, no matter what carrot you're dangling in front of them. What you really need is a team of employees who are emotionally invested in your company. A feeling of ownership. To cultivate that, you need family support.

No amount of job awards can out-influence the home front. You can offer praise and gifts left and right, but you won't see much improvement in your employees performance if she goes home to a partner who says, "How much longer are you going to work there if you’re not happy?"

Please don’t mis-understand, I'm not suggesting that your employees need to have a love affair at work. It's just that the men and women your employees go home to at night that have the power to motivate (or de-motivate) far better and faster than you could.

Here's the key to winning over an employee's family: Start from day one. The first thing your newly hired staff member will likely hear from a significant other when he gets home is, "How was your first day?" If he spent it mostly filling out a three-foot stack of forms, ordering his own business cards and eating lunch alone, he might rightfully answer: "Lousy." His better half will quickly get down on your company, too, and hardly encourage the top-notch performance you want to see.

There's a fool-proof way to get employees—and their loved ones at home—excited about working for your company from day one. First, really make them feel welcome. We want to be liked and accepted. Start a new employee program at your company. Have all employees (depending on the size of your organization) make a point through out that first day to stop and say hello to the new employee and welcome them. I also really like the idea of a sign at the front door that says, “welcome Jane Smith We are glad you are here”. Additionally a welcome cake at lunch for all to stop by and enjoy is a great idea as well.

So, what happens if your new recruit comes home with a great story about his amazing first day? His better half will realize the opportunity he has—and she'll become the ultimate motivator, rather than detractor.

Keep in mind, there are many definitions of family. Your new employee may be single (or soon to be). It's your mission to find out who makes up his or her support system and give accordingly—perhaps a gift card for a night out with pals or a matinee with Mom.

When your employees hear daily words of encouragement from their closest confidantes like, "I can't believe how lucky you are to be working for that guy!" their motivation rises to levels you've never tapped before. It's worked for me in all of my companies. And even if you can't afford more than a home-baked cake or thank-you card, giving your new employees a best first day ever is the key to keeping them motivated for years to come.

There are so many statistics about when your employees feel good about working for you, the better and more productive employees they are. We spend lots of money to recruit, and hire a new team member. Lets not forget their value after they are hired.


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It's Not Net Sit, It's Not Net Eat, It's NetWORK

by Admin 21. October 2011 18:14

Question of the Day
I enjoy reading your column as a marketer and small business owner I appreciate all of your good advice.  Have you ever addressed the issue of getting buyers, or your potential decision makers, to answer your phone calls or emails? One of the most frustrating parts of my business is connecting with a potential customer and then they never return calls or emails. Any suggestions? At what point do you stop trying to connect? Example, several weeks ago I was at a networking event and a woman gave me her card and said to call her to set up a meeting, we spoke at length and she was very interested in my services. I called she suggested we get together the first of April and gave me a list of questions I needed to be ready to answer. First week of April I contacted her she said call her April 8th, on April 8th she said call her the 15th...etc, until a week ago when her assistant said she will call you back, of course no call. I am sure I am not the only one who experiences this. Your thoughts?


Well first of all Joan congratulations on networking. That is of course your best opportunity for you to find opportunities. When you speak to someone at a networking function you always want to ask about them first. The questions I recommend asking to everyone you meet are;

“What do you do?"

“How long have you been doing it?"

“What do you like about it?"

And “What is a good referral for you?"

The reason these questions are good is because networking is not just about you it is about learning about the other person. You are not trying to sell, you are trying to learn to see if you can help them and potentially build a “strategic alliance”(a strategic alliance is someone you build a relationship with to try to help refer business to each other).

There are times when someone will say, “Hey you sell web design, our company really needs a new web site, why don’t you call." Then you call the next day and leave message upon message and nothing happens. People are willing to say lots of things to be “nice." In a networking environment, people often think of themselves being in a somewhat social atmosphere so people say what they might socially with not a lot of meaning.

I recommend when someone does approach you about your product or service, always pull-back a bit. What I mean by that is if someone says they need a new web site, say to them, “wow you guys are a very well known company, I can’t imagine you need help with your web site?”. You will either hear something like, “well, you never know…” which means there is really no need they are just being nice or they might say, “ no we really have been looking into updating ours. We really don’t know what we need but we talked about making some real changes”. I would ask a few more questions to pre-qualify that this is real and say, “ Well if you want to sit and talk a little about what your needs are, I would be more then willing to learn more about what you need to see if I can help. What do you think?”.

It is important to pre-qualify any opportunity to see if it really is one. Pulling back with a few “take-away” questions with assure one way or the other if it is a true prospect or not.

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Setting Sales Goals - No More Excuses!

by GSchulz 22. March 2011 22:51

Since it is the start of the spring and our business and sales goals are in place and progressing nicdely, we can now begin to working on the next level of them…  Boy it’s great starting out with a clear and concise plan, right?  What… you don’t have a plan? You mean all of the goals you set for your first quarter and first few months this year were met purely by chance? You say you didn't meet all of your goals for last year? Say it isn’t so!

Why is it that we start out with the best of intentions on January 1st, and by March 1st we are back to our old routine? The routine of procrastination, excuse making and just accepting mediocrity.

There are several reasons.

1. We’re lazy. Yep it often is as simple as that. It is just easier to justify all of the reasons why we can’t do it instead of finding reasons why we can! Some people are happy living with mediocrity. It’s OK, you can admit it.

2. Here’s one of my very favorites: “I’m too busy!” And who isn’t? Typically when we hear I’m “too busy” you can replace that with “I have no real idea how to prioritize.” We fill our schedule with things that are not activities directly related to identifying business but the other “stuff” that is often easier to do. (There’s a reason why they call it busy work).

3. We set goals monetarily instead of through our activities and behaviors. When we set a goal by a dollar amount to be achieved, and not daily, weekly, and monthly activities, we set ourselves up for failure. Why? Because we can’t control who buys, but we can control what activities we are involved in.

I’d like to address number 3. Often the other 2 get caught up in the misinterpretation of dollars (or sales) being goals and they are purely the RESULT of your goal. When we set dollar volume goals only, we often don’t reach them and give up quickly. How can you set a goal of something you cannot control? You can’t. That’s called a wish. Wishes are wonderful for your children on Christmas but no way to run a business.

Now am I saying you should ignore dollar amounts for yourself and your sales people? No. But these are not goals, they are merely the result you expect from the goals. But this is a good place to begin.

Let’s say that you would like the results to be $120,000 for each representative for 2011. (By the way, past earnings and beliefs of your sales organization has an awful lot to do with being able to accomplish this. We can talk about that in a later article)

First of all, you will need to identify what this means monthly. In this case, about $10,000.00.

Second, what is an average sale for you? If it were $2500.00 then you would need 4 sales per month.

Third, How many prospects do you need to meet with to close one deal? This will take some review of your past closing ratio. *Remember, a prospect is someone with whom you have identified a need, that they have a budget and you have identified their process for decision-making. Let’s say it’s 3. Then to meet your goal you will need to meet with 12 prospects per month.

Fourth, and this will take some estimating, how many suspects do you need to meet with to get to 1 qualified prospect? * A suspect is someone you could be meeting with for a variety of reasons; exchanging referrals, a past client, a strategic partner, someone who has expressed interest in your business etc. Let’s say it’s 5. Then your monthly goal is to meet with 60 suspects. Now you have set a goal for yourself of approximately 15 per week.

The most important thing here is to track these numbers for a total of 30-60-90 days. This will not only tell you if these numbers are correct but where are most of your referrals of business coming from.

Too complicated? Then go back to the old theory, “if you get in front of enough people eventually some will close”. This is exactly how you fall into the, “I am too busy” category… And how’s that workin’ for ya?

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